Day 195 – Dangers of San José

2009/03/25 § 1 Comment


San José was not the terribly ugly place everyone told me about, on the other hand the dangers everyone emphasized might not have been exaggerated. There is not that much to see in the city but the center is quite pleasant anyhow. Nevertheless, walking around late at night is not at all recommended. At least not in most areas and even where it is relatively safe you should not carry too many or unnecessary valuables.

San José I met a guy on the bus there who had been robbed at gun point and who, after by reflex resisting slightly when they took his wallet, was hit on the head. He had to have some stitches and was fine afterwards. However, he seemed determined never again to walk even just the 200 meters from the bus stop to a house, as he did, but always take a taxi in the future.

Interestingly if you hear about dangerous places in Latin America San José is seldomly mentioned, maybe because fewer people come here than to, let´s say Rio de Janeiro for instance. Lat year there were some six hundred robberies in San José alone. I guess if one can avoid San José that is not the worst idea. But as so often with big cities it makes for an excellent hub to get anywhere in Costa Rica. I stayed one night in some cheap place and moved on…

Generally Costa Rica seems to have plenty of scams ready for the unsuspecting tourist. A shame, but it seems to come with unregulated mass tourism that people in Latin language speaking Catholic countries go that road. Something to do with the religion itself? Or to do with the language?

Interesting factoid: the only really nasty and dangerous place in (South-East) Asia are the Philippines. The they speak Spanish and are catholic… a lethal mixture? 😉

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§ One Response to Day 195 – Dangers of San José

  • Björn says:

    Hi Dave,

    I also believe that it is not a coincidence, that the Philippines are more dangerous then the rest of Southeast Asia. The same applies to Latin America in general. For me, it can not have to do anything with the language (as Philippinos also do not speak Spanish) but with Spanish and Catholic culture. The Spanish must have altered their colonies so much that this shit came out (the Philippines were for 350years a Spanish colony, not to speak of Latin America). Just to take one example – in all of Latin America and Philippines there are the big owners of the “haciendas”, and the people of whiter skin (Spanish descent) are usually higher in the social hierachy up to this day, even some people like Evo Morales want to change that.

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